06/02/2013 AT 1:30 PM ET
While following a tornado in El Reno, Okla., on Friday, Storm Chasers star Tim Samaras, his son Paul and colleague Carl Young lost their lives.
They were among the nine people killed by storms that night, CNN reports.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Tim Samaras, his son Paul and their colleague Carl Young. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families,” the Discovery Channel said in a statement.
According to their website, Samaras founded TWISTEX, the Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling in Tornadoes Experiment, to learn more about tornadoes and increase time for warnings.
The organization released a statement on their Facebook page on Sunday.
“This is a devastating loss to the meteorological, research, and storm chasing communities. I ask that you keep the families in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. There is some comfort in knowing these men passed on doing what they loved…”
GlobalGiving is raising funds for emergency supplies for victims, as well as longer-term relief and rebuilding efforts. Donate online or text GIVE OK to 80088 to donate $10 to GlobalGiving’s Oklahoma Tornado Relief Fund. Message and data rates may apply. Terms: mgive.org/t